Patrick McCoy's Reviews > Highway 61 Revisited

Highway 61 Revisited by Mark Polizzotti
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's review
Sep 21, 11

bookshelves: music

I just finished up another 33 1/3 book on Bob Dylan’s seminal Highway 61 Revisited by Mark Polizzotti. It is another exhaustively research look at how this great record came together. I think it has three of his greatest songs: “ Like A Rolling Stone” (recently voted as the greatest rock song of all time), the underrated “Tom Thumb Blues,” and dark “Desolation Row.” I need to go back and watch the film Don’t Look Back since it was made during this period and has many of the players mentioned in this book. I saw it at the urging of a roommate back in college but I wasn’t as invest in Dylan or this record as I am now so it should be a revelation this time around. Another observation I have made is that I am drawn to the surly nature of Dylan’s song writing where it seems as though he is trying to get back at all those hypocrites, back stabbers, and people who have tried to drag him down, from “Like A Rolling Stone”: Once upon a time you dressed so fine
 /You threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn't you?
 / People'd call, say, "Beware doll, you're bound to fall" / 
You thought they were all kiddin' you
 / You used to laugh about / 
Everybody that was hangin' out
 / Now you don't talk so loud / 
Now you don't seem so proud / 
About having to be scrounging for your next meal. Another stray observation, Dylan like Patti Smith was heavily influenced by Arthur Rimbaud-“the rock poet.”

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